This episode does the unprecedented - it has some people making good decisions!
Well Alec making good decisions. Some good decisions. But, hey, this is Shadowhunters one person making a good decision is still unprecedented.
First, some not so intelligent decisions - they need to speak to the Queen of the Seelie, to make sure that the murderous Seelie Kayley was acting alone. Are we all rapidly running past the fact that this is the second episode where the Shadowhunters are quick to assume collective responsibility for downworlders (actually that’s pretty much every episode with the Clave) while the Clave merrily avoids any responsibility for their serial killer in the basement, his entire army and the genocide sword. Because Shadowhunters are the utter worst.
The Queen of the Seelie is totally willing to meet with Clave representatives - but only Valentine’s “experiments”. Namely Jace and Clary
Alec agrees to these terms and sends the two shadowhunters who are described as “experiments” to the Seelie Queen’s realm for her to play with
This is not the good decision
Simon also decides to join them despite knowing nothing about Seelie, the Seelie realm or, well, anything, he’s coming along because REASONS.
This is also not the good decision.
In the seelie realm we see that general ignorance with Clary and Simon acting like this is a romantic stroll (while Jace seethes, his envy further stoked by Sebastian inserting the knife and taunting him. Oh, yes, people still haven’t done a background check for this guy. Also not the good decision). Simon is also killed by a passing before they finally reach the Seelie Queen who looks like a small child because we all know children are creepy and possibly evil.
She is happy that Simon is there because she wants to recruit him to the team of immortal Downworlders club because Shadowhunters are a) totally not immortal and b) stick to their own and hate all downworlders anyway
Hey, she’s not wrong.
Simon, of course, says no.
So instead the Queen sets up a game (using Simon’s inept ignorance of the world) to threaten to kill both Jace and Simon unless Clary kisses the one who means the most to her. Guess which one that is?
Because the Immortal Queen of the Seelie? She totally cares about teenaged love triangles.
Angst angst drama angst.
Anyway, Alec’s actual good idea is to gather the heads of each Downworlder faction to bring them together to be a Council so he an prove that at last the Institute actually cares about Downworlders and doesn’t want to kill them all. It’s a nice try.
But he gathers Raphael, Magnus, Meliorn and Luke to set up this council, despite Shadowhunters disagreeing with it (of course)
Except, of course, there are issues: Alec goes out of his way to tell magnus to be formal and distant with him so they can avoid accusations of bias which i think vaguely offends Magnus since he makes it into a farce. But actually this element annoyed me because it missed another major point - Luke, Magnus and Raphael have all been badly compromised with their own people, especially Like and Magnus. It’s fine to set up a council of Downworlders, but only Meliorn there has a proven track record of actually being there for his own people and not being a Clave servant. Luke’s pack was splintering not so long ago because he was such a lackey - they need to address this. This cannot work as a council when so many of them are compromised. This needs to be addressed otherwise it’s just going to be another way of turning them into Clave servants: which is doubly problematic because Raphael, Luke, Magnus and Meliorn are all minorities. This cannot be a servile relationship
Thankfully we may be seeing that because one of the first things Luke makes clear is that the Clave needs to ante up. He wants them to destroy the Genocide Sword and kill Valentine. Alec makes it clear he can’t do either and Luke wonders what the whole point of the Council. I have to agree with Luke
But he goes because he has an anonymous mole in the Institute help him get into Valentine’s cage - only to be stopped from murdering him by Alec and Sebastian. I don’t know who the mole is - no-one does, but it’s possibly the sinister Sebastian who is now showing his evil side since he apparently has kidnapped and imprisoned someone.
Alec, again making a good decision, doesn’t do the Shadowhunter thing and imprison Luke because he recognises how very very bad that looks.
Sinister Sebastian also tries to nix any relationship between Izzy and Raphael by reminding Raphael how terrible he is for her and how it was based entirely on their mutual addiction
He’s not wrong.
And we have Marys running around and I think I’m supposed to be happy with this? Because she’s being all nice and proud with Alec and super supportive and awesome with Izzy and trying to make nice with Luke - but it’s such a complete heel-turn that I actually think she’s possessed, has been replaced by a doppleganger, is stoned - or has been replaced by a possessed stoned doppleganger. You can’t just re-write an entire character’s personality like that and have everyone just embrace it. I mean there’s not one “you’re trying to stab me!” “no, it’s a hug.” “really? Can I search you for knives first?”
But hey, an actual good idea on Shadowhunters!